Oil industry sues EPA over biofuel mandate
Oil companies are fighting efforts to boost the percentage of biofuels in gasoline. And they’re not the only ones — some green groups are opposed to the biofuels boost too.
The American Petroleum Institute filed a lawsuit this week that seeks to overturn the EPA’s renewable-fuel mandate, which requires that gas contain a minimum percentage of biofuel. There’s particular controversy over requirements for use of cellulosic ethanol, which can be made from crop waste but is not currently being produced in large supply. From The Hill:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Renewable Fuel Standard in August, long after the agency’s statutory deadline in November of last year. The industry has repeatedly called the standards unworkable. …
The standards require refiners to use millions of gallons of cellulosic ethanol this year, but the API argues that only 142,000 gallons have been made available to refiners thus far for blending.
Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, scoffed at the assertion, arguing that the standard can easily be met.
But the Environmental Working Group opposes the new mandates too. Here’s what EWG Vice President Scott Faber told Congress in July:
To date, the [Renewable Fuel Standard] has failed to deliver the “good” biofuels that could help meet many of our environmental and energy challenges. Instead, the RFS has delivered too many “bad” biofuels that increase greenhouse gas emissions, pollute our air and water, destroy critical habitat for wildlife and increase food and fuel prices. …
To allow [cleaner] second-generation biofuels to gain a foothold in the marketplace, Congress must reform the RFS to phase out the mandate for corn ethanol.
As Mother Jones reported a few months ago, “The only group that really seems to like the new rule is the ethanol lobby.”